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Markets

Oil mixed in Asian trade after Greek cuts

SINGAPORE : Oil was mixed in Asian trade Thursday following a sharp surge overnight after Greece's parliament passed sev

oil-barrelsSINGAPORE: Oil was mixed in Asian trade Thursday following a sharp surge overnight after Greece's parliament passed severe austerity cuts.

The vote in Athens allayed concerns that Greece would default on its massive debt, a situation that could again shake up the global financial system.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August, climbed 15 cents to $94.92 a barrel in morning trade after rising by $1.88 on Wednesday.

Brent North Sea crude, also for August, dipped 32 cents to $112.08 after leaping by $3.62 on Wednesday.

Trading "started slightly weaker from profit-taking after the market's impressive gains yesterday," said Serene Lim, a Singapore-based analyst with ANZ Bank.

Despite a general strike and street protests, Greek's parliament voted to slash 28.4 billion euros ($40 billion) from government spending by 2015.

The plan is a condition for 12 billion euros of emergency loans needed by mid-July from stressed eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund that could now be unlocked by eurozone finance ministers as early as their next meeting on Sunday.

The news cheered investors and caused the euro to rise against the dollar. A weaker greenback makes dollar-priced oil cheaper, perking up demand and boosting prices.

Lim said data showing healthy energy demand in the United States, the world's biggest economy, should also bolster oil prices.

Figures released by the US Department of Energy on Wednesday showed American crude inventories fell by 4.4 million barrels last week, exceeding market expectations.

Thinning energy inventories indicate robust demand.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011